Sunday, May 17

Black Press 5,000m

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself with an exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Nobody is going to win a 5,000-meter race after running an easy 2 miles. Not with me. If I loose forcing the pace all the way, well, at least I can live with myself.” ~ Steve Prefontaine

I’m such a greenhorn.

In an effort to raise money for the Easter Seals 24-hour Relay, a friend of mine organized an impromptu track meet, the idea was simple, three 5,000m races: the first was an All Comers event, the second High Performance Men and lastly High Performance Women.

And so despite this being my first full week back since Boston, or perhaps because of it, I found myself warming up on the home stretch of the Jack Wallace Memorial Track on a warm Friday evening.

I was nervous, frightened actually, this was to be my inaugural 5,000m track event and I had no idea what to expect other than pain. Excruciating, lung searing pain. Ally and Isla were playing on the infield, and after a quick good luck kiss from each, I completed my remaining strides. With only a few moments until the start I couldn’t help but wonder why all the other athletes were gathering on the back stretch. I thought for sure a few of the more 'exacting' individuals would have made their way over to the start. It was then that Chris made his introductory announcement, “Welcome to the Black Press 5,000m High Performance Men’s event. The race will begin on the back stretch, at the 200m mark, in about three minutes”.

I should’ve known that, did I mention I was nervous? I quickly jogged across the grass infield to the start line, and with after a few quick handshakes, a cursory nod of the head, I found myself on the inside lane, third back and smiling.

Based on my March half marathon, a comparable 5k equivalent would be around 17:05. However, given some needed rest and having only run on the track twice in the last 12 months, I was expecting something slower. Still, I was going for broke and my plan was to run 3:25/km (17:05) and hope for the best.

I split the first kilometre in 3:20 and the second in 3:24. It was after that point though that I found it mentally straining to count laps and instead focused on the large lap cards. This stopped working when shortly afterwards I was passed for the first time by the leader. It was the second time he went by that really did me in. When all's said and done, I thoroughly enjoyed the event and I’m pleased with my performance. Chris and his team did a fine job organizing and my result will serve as a great base and guide in the weeks to follow.


P.s. This was the first time I've ever finished last... humbling isn't it.

Training:
Wednesday: easy 37:54
Thursday: easy 39:03
Friday: 1:01:17 w/ 5,000m 17:27.7
Saturday: day off (unscheduled)
Sunday: easy 1:08:24

Weekly mileage: 4h33’09”, +/- 64k or 40 miles


OFFICIAL RACE RESULTS

5,000 Metres - High Performance Men

Ryan McKenzie 14:02.8
Scott Simpson 14:21.73
Kyle Jones 14:37.34
Trevor O’Brien 15:22.85
Ian Hallam 15:48.86
Paul O’Callaghan 16:16.47
Walter Cantwell 16:39.68
Simon Dejongh 16:52.99
Gord Christie 16:58.010
Mike Lord 17:27.7

BC Athletics Officials: David Hopkins (Referee), Keith Newell (Starter), Doreen Newell, Ann Juteau, Evan Fagan (Lap Scorers), Lin Hopkins, Anne Lansdell, Bob Reid (Timers)

Race Director: Christopher Kelsall

Results produced by: Bob Reid, 2009-05-15

10 comments:

Thomas said...

Some of those High Performance Athletes are frighteningly fast!

I had a similar, if considerably slower, experience on Sunday. The Boston marathon is definitely still in those legs.

Mark said...

geez, I would've been dead last too! Frighteningly fast track runners, maybe that's why I save myself the embarrassment. Good for you in getting the courage to toe the line. By the way, nice race time.

Love2Run said...

Your fear was well founded but you overcame it. Good job for putting yourself out there like that!

Mike said...

Great effort Michael. Gotta love that 14:02.

Unfortunately I fear I will be joining you w/ a similar experience this Sunday. I plan on running a "pre-season" 800m in an Open Meet and the top two seed times for the half mile are 1:48.7 and 1:48.8!!

Wayne said...

Look on the bright side, you will improve from here on out.

Wow, looks like the track was scattered.

Grellan said...

Great display of humility Michael. It's not often that someone with your speed get's that opportunity.

Chris said...

A for effort, thanks for doing it. It was a fun night.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I'm glad I found your blog. Very cool!

You might have come in last, but it sure was a fast last place to me. Nice job! Good luck with training for your next marathon.

Michael said...

Thanks for your comments.

Wayne, yes, the track was scattered. I'd love to run a 5,000m event with 10-12 runners all within 30" of each other... that would be fun.

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